28 Jun 2022

'There is a huge housing crisis and I'm caught in the middle of it' - Stark reality for young families

'There is a huge housing crisis and I'm caught in the middle of it' - Stark reality for young families

'There is a huge housing crisis and I'm caught in the middle of it' - Stark reality for young families in Ireland

A young mother of four, who is facing homelessness by the end of this week, has gone public with her plea for a house.

Toni Powell and her partner, along with their 4 young children will be homeless on Friday with no knowledge of where they will sleep that night. 

The young family has applied to over 70 properties to rent after being given notice to leave their current rental property due to the landlord selling the house.

Speaking with Liveline yesterday, Toni said: "I really don't know where else we need to turn to try and find somewhere for us to have a home." 

Toni and her partner have applied for properties to rent in Wexford, Waterford, and Kilkenny, and nothing has been available for the young family. 

Wexford County Council will supply emergency accommodation for Toni and her children, but she has not been told where.

Toni said: "When we leave the property on Friday, we must ring a number and they will find us accommodation. We have no idea where."

As a result of the situation, her seven-year-old daughter has gotten bad anxiety. For her eighth birthday, she wants a house. She wrote a Christmas List asking Santa to get her a forever home for Christmas. 

"My kids as of Friday will be living out of backpacks. They have their favourite teddies packed, but there is a lot of stuff they cannot bring as we do not know where we will end up." she added. 

Most of the properties she viewed were taken before she had a chance to make an offer.

"I'm not sure if this is legal or not but for a few of them, once we mention we have 4 kids under 7, we are told it is not suitable." added Toni. 

The family are looking for properties located in Wexford, Waterford, and Kilkenny, and are hoping to secure a rental property.

Toni's story is similar to many families across Ireland who are facing homelessness in the current housing crisis.

Assistant Professor of Social Policy in Maynooth, Rory Aherne said: "This is a powerful indication of how desperate and devastating the Housing Crisis is, it is out of control."

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